Game Giant Nexon Puts $100M in Bitcoin on Balance Sheet

Purchase represents 2% of all cash on hand for Nexon, the second publicly traded company in Asia to have bitcoin on its balance sheet.

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Maple Story 2, One of Nexon’s most popular video games; Source: Nexon

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key takeaways

  • The Tokyo-based gaming company has purchased 1,717 bitcoins at an average price of about $58,226 each
  • Nexon is the third major company in Asia to put bitcoin on its balance sheet after Meitu and messaging giant LINE

Tokyo-based gaming giant Nexon has purchased $100 million in bitcoin at an average price of $58,226. Nexon has been a member of one of Japan’s most important stock indexes, the Nikkei 225, since 2020. 

Similarly, fashion-app Meitu was the first major company in the region to purchase bitcoin, and now holds over $100 million of bitcoin and ethereum in its treasury. However, Nexon is the bigger firm with its $30 billion market cap versus Meitu’s $1.4 billion.

Messaging app LINE, a division of Korean web company Naver, is also said to have bitcoin on its balance sheet which it used to launch a proprietary digital asset called LINK and an app-based cryptocurrency exchange for Japanese users.  

“Our purchase of bitcoin reflects a disciplined strategy for protecting shareholder value and for maintaining the purchasing power of our cash assets,” Owen Mahoney, Nexon’s Chief Executive Officer, said in a statement. “In the current economic environment, we believe Bitcoin offers long-term stability and liquidity while maintaining the value of our cash for future investments.”

In early February, Nexon’s earnings showed the company was flush with cash as gaming became an even more popular pastime for people stuck at home. The company posted income of $143.3 million on revenue of $610 million. It said revenue was up 35% on-year. The company currently owns Bitstamp and Korbit.

Buying bitcoin to guard against the cash-killing nature of inflation is one reason firms like MicroStrategy are loading up on digital assets, according to MicroStrategy’s CEO Michael Saylor.

However, Japan is an extreme outlier in this regard because the country can’t seem to move the inflationary needle. As a result, Japanese firms don’t really have a need for bitcoin on the balance sheet as their peers in other countries do which makes this investment unique.

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